Supported Decision Making – Alternatives to Guardianship

This session will cover the basics of supported decision making and alternatives to guardianship, and how these can directly impact an individual. We will discuss ways to identify and utilize supports and alternatives to make decisions in both daily life and in essential long-term planning, as well as various resources and tools we have developed to begin the process of identifying and planning for these supports before youth reach the age of majority. It is imperative for individuals with disabilities to have a thorough understanding of the alternative options to guardianship that are available to them. People practice supported decision making every day when purchasing a house, seeking financial assistance, and acquiring professional advice, this opportunity to practice supported decision making should be no different for individuals with disabilities. Gaining an awareness of the basis of supported decision making enables an individual to properly prepare for a life of independence while allowing the identification of areas where additional training or support may be needed. This session will take a deep dive into the tools needed to develop a network of natural support and provide an overview of the resources available in order to foster a life of independence for youth with disabilities and their families.